Extra bases: Reed returns to face old mates

CHICAGO -- It wasn’t that long ago when the Chicago White Sox bullpen was sorely missing Addison Reed.

That lament isn’t being expressed as much these days, although Thursday’s rocky 12-5 defeat to the Chicago Cubs was another reminder of what the White Sox had with their former closer.

Reed returns to U.S. Cellular Field with his new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, for a three-game series starting Friday night and will see that his old bullpen is still in a transition period of sorts.

White Sox relievers had been excellent of late, but their scoreless streak ended at 23 2/3 innings when Maikel Cleto gave up five runs in the eighth inning Thursday. Jake Petricka gave up another run in the ninth.

Petricka has been one of the keys to the bullpen being able to settle down from a rough start. Before he gave up a run Thursday, he had gone 10 innings over six outings without letting anybody score.

Zach Putnam and Ronald Belisario also have played key roles. Putnam has not given up a run over five consecutive outings (nine innings).

After a rough start in a White Sox uniform, Belisario might be Chicago's most dominating reliever right now. The right-hander hasn’t allowed a run over his past seven outings and he has a 1.35 ERA over his nine most recent appearances.

Belisario has also retired 24 of the past 27 batters he has faced, including 14 consecutive at one point during the run.

“[Belisario’s] role, at first you didn’t know how it would fit, but lately with him doing two innings it’s been big,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We’ve been able to rotate him and at times with [Daniel] Webb who will grab two innings or sometimes more. You have guys with multiple innings which you can now rotate around and used guys on different days.

“You can give guys days off. That’s been big. Plus they’re not giving up any runs so it’s been a nice feeling for them as a unit. You send a guy out of the gate, they feel like he’s going to get the job done no matter who it is.”

Read all about it: Here is the Rapid Reaction to Thursday’s loss to the Cubs. Also, Jose Abreu is dealing with a new ankle injury.

Keep an eye on this: Andre Rienzo, slated to start Friday against the Diamondbacks, hasn’t lost a decision in four appearances (three starts) this season. He is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA.

Question of the day: With All-Star Game ballots released Thursday, how many All-Stars can the White Sox legitimately expect to have this year?